Phoenix, the capital of and the most populous city in Arizona, is a jewel for businesses of all types. The city’s warm temperature and year-round sunshine attract the biggest brands—from artisanal furniture companies to souvenir manufacturers.
This increase in the number of businesses in the city has boosted competition among these companies, making it essential for brands to consider the designs of their stores and shops. Creating the designs of these spaces are the city’s most talented retail architects. We selected and evaluated many firms to create this list of the best retail architects in Phoenix, Arizona. To rank the firms, each company was assessed based on its work history, its capacity in retail works, and the overall quality of its work.
ADAPTIVE ARCHITECTS INC.
1630 S Stapley Dr., Ste. #229, Mesa, AZ 85204
With a name reflective of the value of adaptability, Adaptive Architects is a forward-thinking architectural design firm pushing the boundaries of design—context-wise and environment-wise. Led by Vince Di Bella, the firm has a unique, non-formulaic approach to design. This flexibility and versatility give the firm the competitive edge necessary to advance in the local commercial architecture scene.
The Mesa-based firm has completed work in various market sectors—from civic to retail projects. The firm has worked on the Mesa Riverview, Dana Park, and North Canyon Village. The multi-use, urban shopping village that is Mesa Riverview is one of the firm’s largest (with 165 acres of retail space) and most successful works.
Archicon Architecture & Interiors
5055 E Washington St., Ste. #200, Phoenix, AZ 85034
Archicon Architecture & Interiors is a full-service architecture and interior design firm operating all over the Phoenix area. The firm is led by Jere Planck and Paul Sarantes, who are both experienced architects and well-respected Arizonians. Planck has more than 25 years of architectural experience, and Sarantes has more than 23 years of interior design experience. Planck and Sarantes lead the firm in completing projects in multiple market sectors—from hospitality and industrial to medical and retail.
The firm’s more than three decades of industry experience can be seen in its highly detailed projects. Park West, a retail complex in Peoria, is one of Archicon’s largest and most outstanding projects.
Andrews Design Group, Inc
1095 W Rio Salado Pkwy., Ste. #203, Tempe, AZ 8528
Andrews Design Group has served Phoenix with trademark personalized customer service and efficient design techniques since 1996. Donald Andrews Jr. established the firm with a commitment to the principles of integrity, competence, and pride. These values helped the firm in building its customer base in the city and surrounding areas. The firm has quality assurance, quality control, budget control, and schedule control programs to ensure specifications are accurate and errors are reduced to a minimum. The firm is also keen on using the latest in architectural technology, such as advanced modeling software.
As featured in Southwest Contractor’s Magazine, the firm has completed multiple retail projects, including the Arrowhead Ranch Plaza and Safeway Marketplace, along with independent boutiques. Featured here is the 68,893-square-foot shopping center, Arrowhead Ranch Plaza, in Glendale.
Architecture & Engineering Solutions, LLC
4020 N 20th St., Ste. #308, Phoenix, AZ
With a straightforward mission to provide quality architectural and engineering services all over Phoenix, Architecture & Engineering Solutions was established in 1996. Martin Flood, University of Arizona Architecture alumnus, found a space in the local architecture scene, where he could apply his expertise. Back then, there weren’t many integrated architecture and engineering firms in Phoenix.
So, Flood established his own firm using a multidisciplinary business model, and Architecture & Engineering Solutions is now flourishing, with operations in more than 13 states. The firm has expertise in healthcare, hospitality, and retail projects, having worked with local retailers and large stores.
Carhuff + Cueva Architects LLC
1743 E McNair Dr., Ste. #300, Tempe, AZ 85283
In 1993, Philip Carhuff established his namesake architectural firm, leveraging his lengthy experience in the field. Carhuff envisioned a firm that could provide a variety of services in the local community, even under constrained circumstances and budgets. Years later, Mark Cueva joined Carhuff to lead the firm. Prior to assuming the leadership position, Cueva worked with the company for over a decade, doing jobs all over Tucson and the Phoenix Metro Area.
Carhuff + Cueva Architects’s local-minded approach to design is evident in the firm’s portfolio. Big name companies, including Volkswagen, Ford, and Nissan, are among the firm’s clients. The Holmes Tuttle Ford Dealership featured here is among the firm’s best works. This facility seamlessly blends the car showroom, cafe, and souvenir shop to create a unique retail experience.
730 N 52nd St., Ste. #203, Phoenix, AZ 85008
Cawley Architects is an award-winning architectural firm known for its striking contemporary designs and progressive design techniques. The firm has completed more than 700 projects since its inception in 1994, and some of these projects have received major awards, including the RED Award for Best Industrial Project in 2018. President and Founder, Sherman Cawley, has secured a reputation in the local industry as one of the most reliable architects in Phoenix. Notably, the firm’s design process begins with a complimentary consultation, in which the firm details the timeline and technical expectations of the project.
The firm has worked on several local projects, including the Chauncey Lane Marketplace. This mixed-use development spans over 52,000 square feet and features top-tier retail and entertainment brands in Arizona.
Deutsch Architecture Group
4600 E Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ, 85018
Founded in 1981, Deutsch Architecture Group is an adored firm in the local architectural and engineering scene. Bernie Deutsch’s more than 40 years of experience serving Phoenix have been key to the firm’s operations, as Deutsch has unmatched insight into the city’s businesses. Deutsch is also a Board Director of the Arizona Manufacturers Council, which solidifies the firm’s presence in the industry. The firm’s team of diverse and dedicated employees does it all, including budget management and scheduling.
The OdySea Treasures Gift Shop, an underwater-themed amenity store, is a playful example of the firm’s design flexibility. To provide a unique shopping experience, the firm designed the place to be enjoyable for both children and adults. OdySea sells jewelry, novelty items, and souvenirs.
FM GROUP INC
15974 N 77th St., Ste. #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
FM Group offers a comprehensive set of architectural services, covering national rollouts, due diligence, and other nuanced architectural services. The firm’s leadership lies in the guidance of Michael Fries, an architectural veteran of over 30 years. Fries implemented the firm’s multidisciplinary approach, which blends architectural services with technical services, such as property inspections, rehabilitation, and mold remediation.
In its architecture services, FM Group puts responsiveness and excellence at the forefront. From conceptual planning to design development, the firm has maintained an exemplary multidisciplinary approach to architecture. FM Group has completed more than 5,500 projects in the retail and restaurant sectors, exemplifying versatility and thoroughness in all of its work. The firm has worked with Cellairis, Flip Flop Shops, and CorePower Yoga, along with other retail brands.
2575 E Camelback Rd., Ste. #175, Phoenix, AZ 85016
A powerhouse in the architectural field, Gensler is a global brand specializing in architectural, interior design, and design consulting. The firm has been around for more than 50 years, designing large-scale projects in various industries. Gensler was established in 1965 by Art Gensler, a fellow of both the AIA and IIDA and a professional member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Gensler is also a recipient of the coveted Ernst & Young LLP’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Today, the firm has a presence all over Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and the Americas. Gensler operates with a highly professional demeanor, with an emphasis on structures and organizational mobility. The firm’s high-quality operations earned Gensler six awards in the Retail Design Institute’s 44th International Store Design Awards. One of Gensler’s award-winning retail works is El Palacio de Hierro in Querétaro, Mexico. Gensler gave the upscale department store chain an unmatched style that fit the brand’s reputation for excellence, and the full-line department store received an Award of Merit from the Retail Design Institute.
3511 E Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85018
Hayes is an architectural and interior design firm specializing in cost-effective and time-efficient design. The firm creates designs for the residential, commercial, and hospitality industries with a refined and customer-centered approach. Catherine Hayes, the firm’s principal and namesake, took on the challenge of being an architect and interior designer. This bold move enabled Hayes to be acknowledged by AZBusiness Magazine as one of the most influential women in Arizona in 2014.
Hayes’s portfolio is a demonstration of the firm’s experience and taste. The urbAna shop, a homeware boutique, is one of the firm’s most vital works, as the shop reflects the roots of the firm itself. The atmosphere of the boutique is also designed to feel like a family home, mirroring the products sold by urbAna.
K&I Architects LLC
1850 N Central Ave., Ste. #200 Phoenix, AZ 85004
K&I Architects is an award-winning architecture and interior studio that understands the need for cost-effective design solutions. Founded in 2001, the firm has excelled in the local market due to its strong attention to detail and flawless execution. Jay and Dan Jolley take charge of the firm’s leadership. The two oversee the firm as they maintain a close relationship with the local community through a signature customer service approach and professional operations.
The firm specializes in retail, hospitality, office, and mixed-use facilities. Whether small or large works, K&I provides a unified effort in the pursuit of achieving the best results.
McCall & Associates Architects, Inc.
4307 N Civic Center Plaza, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Since 1996, McCall & Associates Architects has completed large-scale architectural projects all over the Phoenix Metro Area. Right from its inception, the firm has been known for its cost-effective and economically sustainable design solutions. The firm is capable of industrial, manufacturing, and master planning, all while addressing economic factors and cost-effective considerations.
Company owner and leader Jeff McCall has personally overseen the firm’s operations as the firm completes major works in various market sectors—from retail to office buildings. Ashley Homestore, a furniture and home decor store, is one of the firm’s recent retail works.
15210 N Scottsdale Rd. Ste. #300, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
A service-focused architecture firm specializing in architectural design and planning, Nelsen Partners has been designing all over the country and even internationally. Nelsen Partners has offices in Phoenix, Honolulu, and even Melbourne, Australia. Brad Nelsen, President and Founder of the firm, has been in the business since 1990. He is experienced in completing retail, office, and mixed-use projects, and he has been the driver in the firm’s selection of top-notch projects. The firm provides bespoke design and implements dynamic design processes. Even more, Nelsen Partners has a history of giving back to the local community. Aside from pro-bono works for important local establishments, the firm routinely contributes to charities and relief fund drives.
Nelsen’s portfolio features projects of various scales and in multiple market sectors. The Kierland Commons, an eclectic entertainment and retail space, is one of Nelsen’s best works. This tasteful and elegant retail space has been recognized by the AIA and Urban Land Institute with top distinctions.
RKAA Architects, Inc.
2233 E Thomas Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85016
Robert Kubicek Architects and Associates (RKAA) is a full-service architectural firm that has been in business for more than 45 years. Composed of a modest team of 36 professionals, the firm is flexible and fast in its processes as it serves the entire United States. RKAA is experienced in major projects — from master planning to themed works totaling to over 11,000 projects. Most notably, the firm is known for its excellence in retail works, having worked on retail centers, franchise boutiques, and independent stores.
The firm has also worked with Whole Foods, along with other big names in retail. The project featured in the photo is a mixed-use building combining retail and office spaces in a multi-million-dollar development in North Scottsdale. The Crossroads East development was well-designed to blend in perfectly with the surrounding natural environment, while housing popular commercial establishments.
triARC Architecture & Design
1934 E Camelback Rd., Ste. #200, Phoenix, AZ 85016
In pursuit of creative and functional designs, triARC Architecture & Design was established in 2006. In its relatively brief history, the firm has completed over 1,000 projects. The firm prides itself on its design innovation and forward-thinking brand of leadership, implemented by Jill Hamblen and Marlene Brandemeuhl. Hamblen has been interested in architecture since her mother introduced the craft to her at an early age. She attended Drury University to acquire her degree in architecture. Brandemuehl is keen on using the latest technology in design and has knowledge in international architecture, having studied at Genova in Italy.
Harvest of Scottsdale, a Cannabis Dispensary in Phoenix, is an example of the firm’s excellence in the retail sector. triARC’s main considerations for designing the dispensary were aesthetics and safety. The firm handled both splendidly by going for a modern and zen-like atmosphere that gives customers a secure and even tranquil environment.